The mind plays tricks on us and the discombobulated title character in Florian Zeller's classy adaptation of his award-winning stage play, co-written for the screen by Christopher Hampton.

Set in the handsomely furnished London apartment of an octogenarian patriarch (Sir Anthony Hopkins), The Father slowly unpicks the seams of supposed reality and questions the reliability of a muddied memory.

Peter Francis's ingenious production design ramps up the unease.

As the fragile consciousness of the befuddled protagonist fractures before our tear-filled eyes, furniture, fixtures and colour schemes of eight rooms linked by a central hallway subtly change to heighten the disorientation and sow seeds of doubt about everything we see and hear.

It's a masterful demonstration of mood manipulation, reflected in contrasting warm ochre and cool blue palettes to represent a soothing past and an unsettling present filled with uncomfortable choices.

Hopkins deservedly won his second Academy Award as Best Actor In A Leading Role - and thwarted Chadwick Boseman's posthumous coronation - for his mesmerising performance as a man grappling with dementia.

Zeller's picture unfolds from his clouded perspective and the Welsh actor is truly astonishing at conveying the see-sawing emotions of someone who can't quite articulate that sense of slipping away ("I feel as if I'm losing all my leaves").

Hopkins whirls effortlessly from volcanic rage to tremulous gut-wrenching despair, and co-star Olivia Colman reacts beautifully to this cascading turmoil with a supporting performance of aching vulnerability, sorrow and guilt.

Anthony (Hopkins) lives in a plush apartment in Maida Vale with an elevated view of bustling life in the capital.

He is visited daily by his doting daughter, Anne (Colman), who is preparing to move to Paris with her husband Paul (Rufus Sewell).

"The rats are leaving the ship," Anthony mutters to himself, shortly before a new carer called Laura (Imogen Poots) cheerfully enters the fray.

Paul is evidently the driving force behind hushed conversations about putting Anthony in a home and the husband coldly voices his feelings when Anne is out of the room by asking his father-in-law: "How much longer do you intend to hang around?"

The beleaguered patriarch repeatedly misplaces a treasured wristwatch and becomes agitated when a different woman (Olivia Williams) enters the flat claiming to be Anne.

"There is something funny going on," he correctly surmises.

The Father will strike a heart-breaking chord with anyone who has watched an elderly relative succumb to the choking grip of Alzheimer's and other types of dementia.

Fleeting moments of recognition and clarity between Anthony and Anne are the most devastating because we know it could be mere seconds before the fog descends again.

Zeller remains tightly focussed on the actors, particularly Hopkins.

In the same way that Anthony cannot wriggle free from the chains of his delirium, nor can we.



Bob Odenkirk, best known as shady lawyer Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, reluctantly returns to a life of crime in director Ilya Naishuller's violent action thriller, written for the screen by Derek Kolstad, creator of the John Wick series.

Mild-mannered office worker Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) refuses to intervene when two armed robbers break into his home and threaten his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) and children Blake (Gage Munroe) and Sammy (Paisley Cadorath).

The incident strains Hutch's relationship with his loved ones and he secretly pledges to track down the thieves and reclaim the family's treasured property.

During his clandestine mission, Hutch protects a helpless woman on a bus from a gang of thugs and savagely beats the attackers.

One of the aggressors is the younger brother of sadistic Russian mob boss Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksei Serebryakov).

He ruthlessly targets Hutch and his loved ones to avenge his bludgeoned sibling.



Senegalese writer-director Ousmane Sembene's ground-breaking 1968 drama, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and is considered the first feature-length film in an African language, is released in UK cinemas for the first time as a sparkling 4K restoration.

Adapted by the film-maker from his own novella, Mandabi centres on unemployed father of seven Ibrahima Dieng (Makhouredia Gueye), who cannot find work in Dakar.

He receives a large money order from his nephew Abdu (Mouss Diouf), who works as a street sweeper in Paris.

Ibrahima intends to keep a small portion for himself and then set aside the rest for his sister (Therese Bas) and Abdu.

When news spreads about the money order, Ibrahima is inundated with requests from his two wives (Ynousse N'Diaye, Isseu Niang) and opportunistic neighbours.

His nightmarish ordeal intensifies when he faces bureaucratic red tape to cash the money order.


FARGO (15)

A 25th anniversary rerelease of Joel and Ethan Coen's deliciously twisted black comedy, which was deservedly nominated for seven Academy Awards and won two golden statuettes: Best Actress In A Leading Role for Frances McDormand and Best Original Screenplay for the film-maker siblings.

Car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H Macy) hatches a hare-brained scheme in backwater Minnesota to pay off his debts by ransoming his wife Jean (Kristin Rudrud).

He hires two hapless hoodlums, Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare), to carry out the kidnapping, certain that his father-in-law Wade Gustafson (Harve Presnell) will meet the six-figure asking price.

Alas, the hastily conceived plan doesn't unfold as planned, setting in motion a blood-soaked chain of events that leads heavily pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson (McDormand) to hunt down a "funny-looking guy" for homicide.

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